O.K. so how do I use all this to get better grades? (Actually, I trust most of you have already figured that one out). But, if not, you must first do an assessment of your learning style. Are you using all of your cognitive skills: knowledge, comprehension, application,analysis and evaluation when answering multiple choice questions? Or are you only using some or maybe only one? (That was me). Are you applying the correct cognitive technique to the correct question? (Analysis cognition for an analysis style question) If you are like me, I was only using knowledge skills for all questions, and found myself trying to memorize everything. And as a result, I made a lot of careless mistakes.
What I do now and how it works for me. I've stop copying information from the textbook into my notebook and trying to remember it all. Now, before I read the chapter, I start with the Chapter Learning Outcomes; I go through each one of them and ask a series of questions such as: What is this, what does it mean? To whom does it apply? What are the exceptions? Could this topic make a, select all that apply, question, what if? What then? Why? Why not? And does it depend?
What I have learned is, when I ask questions before I read the text, the answers reveal themselves. In using the method above, I have incorporated all of the necessary cognitive skills: knowledge,comprehension, application, analysis and evaluation. And now, instead of trying to remember the information, I am learning the information.
Therefore, my suggestion to you is, do your own self-assessment, learn from your mistakes, identify your learning deficit, use the internet to search for tips to resolve your learning deficit. Before you answer, the ‘Test Your Knowledge’ questions, ask-What is the cognitive level of this question? To whom does this question apply? What part of Maslow is this question addressing? What part of the Nursing Process does this question address?
After you ask those questions, then answer the question, and then verify your answer and analysis of the question with the answer and analysis in the back of the book. If you have the right answer for the right reasons…you understand the question and the why, what, how…all of it. If you get the right answer, but the wrong analysis, then go back and study the area you missed (Maslow, Nursing Process, and Cognitive Level). If you get the wrong answer, but the right analysis, then perhaps, it was a careless mistake. Now, if you get it all wrong…well, back to the drawing board. It’s time to make a reassessment of your learning deficit.
Now that you know what all the components of the answer in the back of the book means, use them to determine your strengths and weakness. And in doing so, you will be studying smarter, not harder. And you will have more time for yourself, your family and your peace of mind.